14thAnnual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Lyon, France
August 25-29, 2013

On the Relation Between Intonational Phrasing and Pitch Accent Distribution. Evidence from European Portuguese Varieties

Marisa Cruz, Sónia Frota

Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

Intonational phrasing and pitch accent distribution (PAD) have been proposed to be interdependent (Portuguese) and independent properties of prosodic systems (Egyptian). This paper examines the relation between intonational phrasing and pitch accent distribution in two center-southern varieties of European Portuguese . Alentejo (Ale) and Algarve (Alg). Sentences obtained in a reading task systematically varied syntactic complexity (presence/absence of branching in subjects and objects) and length (in number of syllables). The results showed that (S)(VO) prevails in Ale, whereas in Alg (SVO) is preferred as in Standard European Portuguese (SEP). Unlike in SEP, both in Ale and Alg nearly every prosodic word is pitch accented, yielding a dense PAD. If in Ale intonational phrasing and PAD seem to be correlated (more phrases, dense PAD) the same does not apply in Alg (fewer phrases, but dense PAD). Our findings favor the view of phrasing and PAD as orthogonal dimensions to take into account in a description of prosodic variation within and across languages.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Cruz, Marisa / Frota, Sónia (2013): "On the relation between intonational phrasing and pitch accent distribution. evidence from European Portuguese varieties", In INTERSPEECH-2013, 300-304.